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Competition and Cool Travel Gadgets
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
After facing criticism from the industry for taking three months to dismiss Reed Exhibitions as their partner in SHOT Show, the National Shooting Sports Foundation's moving to get prepared for SHOT 2014 set for January 14-17, 2014. That preparation includes getting some national help in the marketing and creative areas.

Yesterday, NSSF announced the selection of CSG Creative as agency of record for 2014's marketing efforts. That's a move I was told by the NSSF's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Dolnack made to allow the NSSF staff to concentrate on the legislative and other program efforts.

I've also learned that the three finalists for exhibition management will be making their best pitches to the NSSF. If that decision's reached quickly, the new show management group can start working to get their groundwork in place for 2014. It's not a simple matter to replace a longtime trade show partner, and Reed is one of the gorillas in the tradeshow marketplace.

As the preparations get underway, we'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, firearms retailers who are NSSF members with businesses in the federally declared disaster areas in Oklahoma and northern Texas can reach out for some assistance. The NSSF made $100,000 in emergency aid available to companies with damages that prevent their having funds to meet critical business needs to keep their businesses running.

The emphasis is on storefront FFLs and ranges, because the hassles of sorting out insurance claims, cleaning up damages and trying to reopen can make it tough. Especially if you're not certain exactly what damage falls where in your claims.

Having seen my own range devastated in killer tornadoes, I know how debilitating it can be. Looking at the damages, we didn't know if we'd ever be able to get the ranges back to "normal". Fortunately, our "new" normal is actually an improvement over the old facilities.

Applicants for relief should contact Samantha Hughes at NSSF at 203-426-1320. A "Tornado Relief Fund Application" is available online at nssf.org/share/PDF/TornadoReliefFund.pdf. The deadline for submitting applications for assistance is June 14.

On a more pleasant topic, this past weekend's Bianchi Cup has to go down as a big success. The most shooters- ever- competed, and the Cup showed several innovations in the event that might actually give a glimpse of how we can make shooting competitions more viewer-friendly-and maybe even offer some wrinkles that make the sport appealing on television.

Bernosky, Koenig and Piatt...fierce competitors, but when the match is over, they're back to their easy-going ways. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
But first, props to the champions, including fifteen time champ Doug Koenig. Doug dedicated the match this year to his father who's struggling with cancer, but brought the same focus he's known for to the match when he stepped to the line.

Firing a perfect score Koenig's 1920 tied second-place finisher Carl Bernosky, but his x-count of 183 was fire higher than Bernosky's, giving him the title. Bruce Piatt finished third with a score of 1918 and an x-count of 176.

Other Open Division finishers included Italy's Andrea Moroni with 1918/170 and Zeljko Cvetnic with 1918/166.

Robert Vadasz took the Metallic Division, with Mark Kleser, Kevin Worrell, Doug Goff and Troy Mattheyer finishing in second through fifth, respectively.

And the Production Division featured a faceoff between friendly rivals Enoch Smith and Rob Leatham. In the end, Enoch's icy calm finish gave him the win- and a single miss on the Falling Plate event cost him the world record in the event. Leatham took second with Randi Rogers -yes that Randi Rogers- finishing third. Vince Schmid and Joel Kaczorowski finished fourth and fifth.

It was Jessica (Jessie) Duff taking the High Lady and Women's Open Division, but there was more than a little drama as Junior Champ Tiffany Piper looked like she was preparing to win the High Lady and Junior Champ title before a couple of wild shots dropped her out of contention. Anna Sevigni won Women's Metallic, and Randi Rogers took the Women's Production Division title.

For the Juniors, Tiffany Piper took her fourth title in Open, Evan Coar took the Production title and Joseph Totts took the Metallic Title.

Kelly Gilmore was High Senior and John Sanders the High Grand Senior.

Plenty of other news out there, including a win for advocates of using hunting to control wolves. The Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed a legal challenge to that state's wolf harvest, saying the Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves failed to show their members were damaged by the process used by the Minnesota DNR to establish the state's wolf season.

It's refreshing to see a court recognize the distinction between "standing" in a case and displeasure with a wildlife management decision.

It's not so refreshing to see anti-gun legislation rolling along in California, Nevada, and Illinois, but that's become the norm in some areas.

As I was driving through Illinois over the weekend, I had to wonder how many state statutes I was violating as I was transiting the state with a competition pisol and several standard capacity magazines. "Standard" in those pistols, fyi, was 17 rounds. I might not be able to count to six when it comes to shooting a stage of the Bianchi Cup, but I know ten rounds is considerably fewer than 17 -so I was actually carrying evil high-capacity magazines.

New York gun owners are planning an even larger event on June 11 to protest Governor Cuomo's New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act. Organizers are hoping to turn out 25,000 firearms owners to express their displeasure with the act. Schedule willing, I'm going to be there to see how the protest unfolds -and if it gets reported in the New York media.

Finally, another shout-out to Miles Hall and his employees at H&H Shooting Range in Oklahoma City. They've jumped into the tornado relief efforts, providing everything from getting aid from industry companies to bagging 1,300 lunches to be delivered to affected areas.

--Jim Shepherd

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